The owner of a New York jewelry store has admitted to participating in a massive credit card fraud scheme. According to the New Jersey U.S. Attorney, he one of 19 members of the alleged conspiracy to plead guilty. The man is scheduled for sentencing in September and faces harsh penalties under federal law. He could receive a prison term of up to 30 years as well as a fine of up to $1 million.
The 51-year old man was indicted for his participation in the conspiracy in October 2013. The conspirators allegedly created over 7,000 false identities and then used the identities to acquire tens of thousands of credit cards; falsified credit reports granted the fraudulent cards increased spending power.
The jewelry store owner reportedly permitted other members of the conspiracy to use the credit cards at his store in exchange for a share of the proceeds from the fraudulent sales. His store is one of many to have allegedly participated in the scheme. Another jewelry store owner allegedly involved in the white collar crimes pleaded guilty to a charge of access device fraud on June 20 and faces up to 15 years of imprisonment at his September sentencing.
A criminal defense attorney retained by a defendant in a case like this one might seek to secure a plea bargain with the U.S. Attorney in order to reduce the penalties that the defendant faces. Alleged members of a conspiracy such as the one in this case may have the opportunity to exchange testimony against other members of the conspiracy for reduced charges or even immunity from prosecution.
Source: India West, “New York Businessman Pleads Guilty in Credit Card Fraud Scheme“, June 27, 2014